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New Member
I just typed in a mini-novel and lost it all! GRRRRRRR

Have been lurking around the forum for a few days checking things out. Very nice site! Wish I had found it sooner...

I work in the sign shop at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. In case someone isn't familiar with it, it is the original capitol...sort of the birthplace of America. The whole town has been restored to the 18th century. We have around 80 original buildings and over 800 altogether with our reconstructed buildings, hotels, rentals, shops...etc. Their web addy is www.history.org, if anyone is interrested. Their main tavern signs and other important signs are still handpainted, but we do crank out a lot of vinyl, too.

I first came to CW as a house painter and would help the 2 guys in the Sign Shop out when they got backed up. I really enjoyed the work and when Joe was about a year from retirement, I understudied him for the last year and then took over his spot.

When I first started working with them, they had a 4B and thought it was the neatest thing since sliced bread! Since then we have accquired a Gerber Envision (which is still one hell of a workhorse), and and Edge. I really pushed for the Edge and thought I was in heaven when we got it. I find myself very aggitated though at the registration bugs it has and it is a pain to switch out foils constantly. I also am tired of tiling almost every job!

I have asked for a VersaCam, but I got shot down until the new budget next year. I ordered the free print sample and cannot believe my eyes.

Anyway...it is very nice to meet everyone...my first post was funnier, but it's time to cook dinner...LOL I have put some files in the gallery and posted some in the handpainted section. I have more to share from work and Phil said I could post some of his work, too, so...stay tuned.

Look forward to getting to know everyone...LP


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New Member
Hi Ladypainter.

Nice to meet you ... Nice work, must be nice living in a historical town. Must have allot of interesting/inspiring work to do.

What kind of paints do you use? Base materials?

Looking forward to seeing more stuff!!


New Member
Nice to meet you Lady Painter. Sounds like a great experience working in such a historical atmosphere. Look forward to seeing the work you do, and the historical elements involved.



New Member
Nice to meet you ... Nice work, must be nice living in a historical town. Must have allot of interesting/inspiring work to do.

>>>Thanks! Yes...it is very scenic, which is wonderful when we work outside. I do feel very fortunate to work there, especially considering that I could learn through sort of an aprenticeship instead of grewling hours in class, although, I wouldn't mind taking a design course, or perhaps art... Any suggestions?

What kind of paints do you use? Base materials?

>>>Our millwork shop does all of the construction for our signs. We use a lot of MDO (Medium Density Overlay), unless the sign is going to be in the main historic area, then Tim (our millwork guy) fabricates with solid wood, glueing pieces together to get the right size. For solid wood signs, we like Cyprus, but be prepared to wait after the first coat of paint...it takes forever to dry & I HATE quick-drying crappy laytex primers!

PAINT...now HERE is my subject...LOL Phil and I HATE laytex paint. Signs are mostly in sunlight, which means that repaints are a must within 4-5 years. Laytex paint does not sand well on a repaint (remember we are maintenance :). Have you ever used Rapid Remover on laytex paint? It softens the paint. Oils do oxidize (fade or change colors), but when you are in the business of repaints, it is well worth it. Also, One Shot (our preferred sign enamel) tends to "crawl" on laytex paint, so we have to use Fish Eye, which changes the consistancy of the paint to almost "gummy" Yuck. We use mostly Martin Senior products.

Even when useing a laytex paint, it is still best to use an oil primer. Oil dries slower, giving more time for the paint to penetrate the wood deeper (*blush*). :rolleyes: Even our houses are painted in this method.

So...our sign formula...NO PRIMER...3 coats of oil-based enamel.

Hope that helped...LP

PS: Fred...thanks for attaching the link to my signs in the gallery....still learning my way around the boards:smile:


New Member
Thanks to all of you! Here are a couple more designs I wanted to post yesterday. I don't really get a chance to design stuff much. We mostly do repaints. I have seen some really awesome and intricate stuff on here, but I guess Phil has taught me to keep it simple :)

I'll get around to posting some of his stuff eventually. We are just slammed with work right now.

Cheers all...LP

BTW...the brownish tan is actually Light Metallic Gold


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New Member
...one more....the latest one...done in silver metallic on a green truck...really nice! They had T-shirts & business cards made with it too, so I'm really proud of it :biggrin:


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Waffle Baron
welcome indeed! Its far and few that you see quality hand painted work anymore, nice job.